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Travel / Tourism Spots in Sanriku Coast Area

  • Ryusendo Cave
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    4.5
    216 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Shimoheiguniwaizumichou Iwaizumi Kannari 1-1
    This massive limestone cave is one of Japan’s three largest, and is designated a National Natural Monument. The cave is over 5,000 meters long overall, and hosts eight underground lakes that are among the clearest in the world. The color of the water, called Dragon Blue, is astonishing and the mystical sight is worth visiting. A 700 meter walking route in the cave and three of the eight lakes are open to the public. One section of the trail is barrier-free, with full wheelchair access. The limestone filtered water has been named one of Japan’s top 100 waters, and is available to drink at the cave entrance.

    This spot is far from any station, so you need a car or bus to reach it. The entrance fee costs 1000 yen per person. Business hours are from 8:30 to 17:00, and open everyday. It is one of the three...

  • Jodogahama Beach
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Miyakoshi Hitachihamachou 32
    This beach is adorned with sharp white rock formations, creating an other-worldly atmosphere. The name Jodogahama refers to the Buddhist “Pure Land.” The beach is filled with bathers in summer. The rock formations visible include flow structures formed by rolling lava, and plate shaped fractures called “joints” formed when magma cools rapidly. The unusual geology led to this area being designated a Sanriku Fukko (reconstruction) National Park & Sanriku Geopark.
  • Kamaishi Daikannon Statue
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    4.0
    51 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Kamaishishi Odairachou 3-9-1
    The Kannon (goddess of mercy) statue holding a fish is 48.5 kilometers in height and stands as if watching over the boats coming and going from Kamaishi Bay. Building of the statue was initiated by Meihozan Sekiosenji Temple praying for peace of the spirit worlds. From the 12th floor inside the statue, 120 meters above sea level, you can see the panorama of Mada-misaki Cape, Ozaki Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.

    I visited this Temple while in Kamaishi for RWC 2019. It is a magnificent site to explore and is very peaceful and quiet. The views of the bay and Kamaishi from the top are excellent. This city was...

  • Goishi Coast
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Pref. Ofunatoshi Massakichou Ohama
    Goishi is a coast over 6 kilometers long where you can enjoy a beach of black stone stones like those used for the game of “go” (a strategy board game), a rock with three large holes eroded by the rough waves, and a rock called “Kaminari Iwa” (thunder rock) where the waves breaking sound like the roar of thunder. In 1931, it was designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty and Natural Monument. At the Goishi Coast Rest House, you can taste Ofunato’s Class B gourmet “Sanma (fish) ramen” and a dish of seafood and rice.
  • Kesen Carpentry and Folklore Museum
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    4.0
    10 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Rikuzentakata-shi Otomocho Myoga 1-237
    A museum located a 90-minute drive from the Ichinoseki Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway. The museum is modeled after early Meiji period Kesen homes and was built to pass on the techniques of Kesen carpentry to future generations. The museum was built exclusively with local materials like Kesen cedar wood. The main building is made of wood and modeled after a single story thatch roof family home. Looking up from beyond the irori sunken hearth, visitors can spot Kesen carpentry techniques everywhere, such as three stage beams. There's also a 3.11 Light of Hope eternally lit gas lamp on the grounds which was lit from the 1.17 Light of Hope in Kobe.

    The Kesen carpentry style is unique to the area and unfortunately there are very few carpenters (if any) left to carry on the techniques. Inside the main building with high ceilings is a...

  • Ryusenshindo Science Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Iwaizumicho Iwaizumi Kannari
    A limestone cave discovered after the Ryusendo Cave–one of Japan's three major caves–in Iwaizumi-cho. In 1967, Ryusendo Cave was discovered during construction to widen a prefectural road. The well-developed cave system and its water course markings have scientific value, and in 1975 it was opened to the public as a science museum. In addition to the stalactites and stalagmites that are still being surveyed, there are abundant traces of pre-modern people. The cave has displays depicting life in the cave, which acted as shelter from the elements. There is also an area of water that looks beautiful when lit up.
  • Kuma-no-hana Observatory
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Iwaizumicho Omoto
    "About 25 minutes by car from Ryusendo Cave. Extending from the south of the Omoto Coast, the tip of the peninsula is thought to look like a bear's nose, the literal meaning of ""kuma-no-hana.” It's covered with red pine trees that create a special beauty contrasting with the blue of the sea. It's one of the best viewpoints in Sanriku Fukko (reconstruction) National Park. The observatory is located about 800 meters from the national highway down a country road. There's a rest area too, as well as a parking lot a short distance from the lookout. The Omoto Coast's triangular Tatsuko-iwa Rock is worth seeing as well."
  • Hittori Marsh
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Iwaizumicho
    The central marsh of the Kitakami Highland, it is off Prefectural Route 171 (Okawa-Matsukusa Line) accessible from National Route 340. The springtime Asian skunk cabbage, early summer rhododendrons, and autumn leaves are all beautiful. It's an Iwate Prefecture nature preserve, as well as a plant community forest reserve managed by Forestry agency, and has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 natural landscapes for the 21st century. You can walk along established routes through the nature reserve. In spring the boardwalk is lined with Asian skunk cabbage, and rhododendrons are at their best in mid-July. Cows are visible at pasture in the distance.
  • Yamada Bay
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Yamadamachi
    This bay is located in the eastern part of Iwate Prefecture. The Ria coastal inlet can be found in the northern part of the Sanriku Coast, and extends northeast towards the Pacific Ocean. It covers a circumference of approximately 30 kilometers, and the coast, resembling a still round mirror, reflects the brilliant green pine trees on the white rock surface. The large and small islands floating quietly in the center of the bay are also covered in brilliant green trees, and with the bay encompassing them, it seems like a giant-sized miniature garden. Many oysters and scallops are cultivated in the bay with its gentle waves, and it has been named the Lake Towada of the sea. At present, recovery operations are steadily making progress to repair damage caused by the 2011 earthquake.
  • Shijuhassaka Observation Deck
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Yamadamachi Funakoshi 1-77
    This observation deck is located a 150-minute drive from Kitakami-Ezuriko Interchange. It looks out to the Pacific Ocean and has an amazing view with a variety of landscapes between the shoreline and the horizon. In the past, it was known as a difficult place to visit with the many winding slopes that gave birth to its name of Shijuhachisaka (Forty-eight Hills), but it has now been made accessible by the opening of National Route 45, which serves as the southern gateway to Yamada Town. The bay is located on National Route 45, 33 kilometers from Miyako and 20 kilometers from Kamaishi, and has been recognized as one of the top eight views of Yamada. The view of the sea from the observation deck gives visitors the chance to see squid fishing and fishing fires in the summer.
  • Shiyui Ohashi Bridge
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Tanohata Mura Sugenokubo
    About 15 minutes by bus from Tanohata Station, this bridge was named after the nearby Shiino-mori Forest. It connects parts of a well-known historic route and was inaugurated in accord with the wishes of forward-thinking local residents as well as thought of everyday life, a way of life, and the future. The bridge is 120 meters above the valley floor. It's one of the largest inverted arch bridges in the country, and the view of it with the surrounding mountains is beautiful.
  • Seashell Art
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Tanohata Mura Kitayama 129-10 Kitayamazaki Visitor Center
    This workshop can be conveniently accessed by a sightseeing share taxi from Tanohata Station. A reservation is required. The workshop takes place in Kitayamazaki Visitor Center and the beaches in the town, and allows visitors to make items using shells and stones. In approximately 30 minutes to an hour, visitors can make one of seven different types of item, such as an original photo stand or cellphone strap. The workshop uses stones smoothed by the waves as its blank canvas, each being completely unique. Visitors can glue the one-of-a-kind shells to a message board to make their own unique creations, limited only by their imagination.
  • Tanohata Tsunami Storytellers
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Tanohata Mura Wano 38-14
    "A nature program held on the Rikuchu Coast, known for ""cliffs, the sea, and its people.” Part of Banya Ecotourism initiative, the program tells the story of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Locals who saw the disaster first-hand act as guides, telling about their experiences and conveying the need for disaster preparedness. With local ports and the villages where they were born and raised swallowed by the tsunami, these people were forced to live in temporary housing. The program conveys the authentic experience and lessons of victims who lived through the disaster, the support that aided their time in evacuation shelters, and recovery efforts since then."
  • Kurosaki Observation Deck
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Fudaimura
    This observatory is a scenic spot that is representative of Fudai. It is located on the eastern end of Sanriku Fukko National Park, 40 degrees north latitude, in Fudai Village, Iwate Prefecture. Its current appearance has remained unchanged since the 1950s, and it is said that in the past, Ino Tadataka observed the starry sky here in Kurosaki. The observation deck overlooks Benten Fishing Port, with the deep blue waters of Nedari Beach and its small islands, and in some places, visitors can see where the precipice of the cliffs exceed 150 meters. In the distance, visitors can see from the coast of Kuki City to the coastline of Noda Village. Birds such as Japanese cormorants and osprey fly between the blue sky and the blue sea here, and at night, visitors can enjoy an amazing view of the starry sky.
  • Rikuchu Kurosaki Lighthouse
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Fudaimura 2-845
    This lighthouse is located in Kurosaki, protruding out into the Pacific Ocean from Fudai Village, Iwate Prefecture. The structure was originally Fudai Lightpole, but it was remade into a concrete lighthouse in 1952. The scenery around the lighthouse includes the coastal terrace of Sanriku Fukko National Park, and it has been selected as one of the top 50 Lighthouses ofJapan. The beautiful chalk lighthouse was also named the Love Lighthouse by the Japan Romanticist Association in June 2019. The beam of light is the furthest reaching in the Tohoku region, extending approximately 30 nautical miles, and as a lighthouse at 40 degrees north latitude, it is paired with Nyudozaki Lighthouse (Oga Peninsula, Akita Prefecture), on the Sea of Japan side.
  • Kurosaki Point
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Fudaimura
    This earth village is located at 40° North latitude in Fudai Village, Iwate Prefecture. Standing at the Kurosaki Observation Point or the Anmoura Observation Point, visitors can look down at the Pacific Ocean from the steep cliffs and see the curvature of the earth. It has also been designated a “geo site” of Sanriku Geo Park. Fudai considers Kurosaki Observation Point to be its symbol, and other impressive sights include East Point, which exactly marks 40°0’ 0”” North, and the waterfall at Anmoura, the steepest drop in Iwate Prefecture. The name of Anmoura Observation Point, which stands on the edge of a 100-meter cliff, is said to come from an Ainu word that refers to demons and ghosts.
  • 40 Degrees North Latitude Symbol Tower
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Shimohei-gun Fudaimura Dai2-chiwari Shimomura
    This tower is located approximately 35 minutes by train from JR Tohoku Shinkansen Ninohe Station, taking the Sanriku Railway Riasu Line. Situated in Kurosaki Park, one minute's walk from Kurosaki-Sou national youth hostel, it is a symbol of Fudai 40 degrees north latitude Global Village. It is a four-meter high globe-shaped monument, equipped with a sensor that detects when someone is standing in front of it. The globe turns automatically, welcoming visitors as it revolves. It is powered by solar energy, and it gives visitors a sense of the power of the distant seas and of the surrounding nature. The blue globe with the blue sea in the background is highly recommended as a spot for photography.
  • Sennin Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Kamaishi-shi
    Located on the boundary between the cities of Tono and Kamaishi along National Route 283 in the Kitakami Mountains, Sennin Pass is an 887-meter pass located in a verdant green area. Until the Sennin Pass Road was opened in 2007, the old road, full of sharp curves and steep slopes was known as a difficult route. Now the old Kamaishi Road is a tourist-oriented driving route that gives people a sense of being deep in the mountains. It is known as a spot for seeing spring greenery and autumn leaves, and from late October to early November, visitors can enjoy the splendid colors of the oaks, hill cherries, maples and other deciduous trees.
  • Cape Ohakozaki
    Travel / Tourism
    Iwate Kamaishi-shi Hakozakicho
    This is located at the end of the Hakozaki Peninsula and is one of the most famous scenic spots along the Rikuchu Coast, offering a view created by the sea, wind, rain, and other natural forces over the eons. Looking to the north, visitors can see from Otsuchi Bay to Yamada Bay, and looking toward the south, they can see from Sangan Island to Kamaishi Bay. To the south is an immense area of closely huddled granite rock formations, and Sangan Island is visible. Visitors can travel the 6. 8 kilometers from Hakozaki Shirahama to the point via a walking trail clearly marked with directional signs.
  • Kamaishi Specialty Store
    Shopping
    Iwate Kamaishi-shi Suzukocho 22-1
    This Kamaishi specialty product store is located on the first floor of Sea Plaza Kamaishi, adjacent to JR Kamaishi Station. It sells processed products, such as saury, mirin-dried foods, mekabu (wakame seaweed root), salmon roe and abalone kaihozuke, as well as sweets, local alcohol and crafts. The Iwate Nanbu Soba, made with 100% ingredients produced on farms in Iwate, is a long-lasting product that makes a great souvenir. It also sells local Kamaishi sake such as All Iwate Sake, which is a refined sake made with 100% ingredients from Iwate, and Hamachidori junmai ginjoshu, Ginginga.

Iwate Areas

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A northern Tohoku prefecture promising peace and quiet, Iwate is sparsely populated, replacing people with snow-capped mountains, history-rich sites, and fields of crops that are to thank for the region's delicious local cuisine. Meander along the three-city Golden Route, where you'll visit the grand Buddhist temples of Hiraizumi and the Tono folk villages before tasting the three famed noodle dishes of Morioka.

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